Top 10 John Miles Songs

John Miles Songs

Photo: By Sven Mandel (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The Top 10 John Miles songs is a list that examines some of the best music that England’s John Miles ever produced. Many people in the United States are unaware of the legendary singer’s career in the popular music world. In 1975, John Miles was introduced to the legendary Alan Parsons who had only a few years earlier engineered Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. Alan Parsons had also become a famous record producer and solo artist with a wonderful collection of albums of his own. After meeting Alan Parsons, Miles and Parsons went into the studio and recorded the single “HighFly.” After the success of the single in the U.K., John Miles recorded his first album entitled “Rebel.” The cover and title of the album was a tribute to the movie star James Dean in which Miles image, (especially his hair) was shaped. The album was heavily promoted by Columbia Records in the United States. Promotional ads were printed in Rolling Stone, Circus, and Cream rock magazines.

John Miles follow up to the Rebel album was entitled Stranger in the City. Once again the release of the album was followed by a huge media advertising campaign in the United States.The album was produced by Rubert Holmes who would have a huge hit on his own in 1979 with Escape(The Pina Colada Song)  During the time between the Rebel and Stranger in the City Albums, John Miles toured in the U.K opening for the Rolling Stones and Elton John. After the release of Stranger in the City, John Miles would release eight more albums until his last one Tom and Catherine was released in 1999.

Although John Miles never gained a great deal of popularity in the United States, hardcore fans of Led Zeppelin actually heard of him because of his work with Jimmy Page. In 1988, Jimmy Page released his first solo album entitled, OutriderOn the Outrider album, John Miles sang lead vocals on the songs “Wasting my Time,” and “Wanna Make Love.” Both songs were co-written between Jimmy Page and John Miles. The same album also featured lead vocals by Robert Plant leaving John Miles in pretty good company.

The list below presents some of the best John Miles songs of his career. We were careful not to utilize too much of the first two albums in which most of the best stuff of his career can be found. Over time, John Miles, varied his musical style greatly. Those changes are meant to be presented in this list of John Miles songs. If you have never heard of the singer, hopefully this list will inspire you to check out some of the great music John Miles made during his career.

# 10 – Rebel

The John Miles song “Rebel,” was the title track from the singer’s debut album. The song featured one of John Miles greatest guitar licks.  The album was released on March 6th 1976. The album was recorded at the famous Abbey Studios in England.The song “Rebel,” was written by John Miles and Bob Marshall.

# 9 – Song For You

The John Miles Song, Song For You was released on John Miles 1983 album Play On. The song appeared as the second song on the album. One of the moist notable attributes of the Play On album was that it was produced by Gus Dudgeon. The famed producer Gus Dudgeon was well know for his incredible work he had done as a producer on some of Elton John’s most memorable albums.

# 8 – Pull the Damn Thing Down

Although we have tried not to include to many John Miles Songs from the Rebel album because they are all so good, we couldn’t resist listing this one. The song “Pull the Damn Thing Down,” appeared as the last song on the album before the title track Music reprise. It was common for 1970’s albums to place usually one of the best tracks or at least epic tracks on an album at the end. The placing of “Pull the Damn Thing Down,” was a perfect example of that concept.

# 7 – Manhattan Skyline

John Miles “Manhattan Skyline,” was the opening track on the Stranger in the City album.The sound of the disco era are quite apparent within the song. The album actually featured a minor disco hit called “Slow Down,” which has not been included in the top 10 John Miles Songs list. The album Stranger in the City was heavily promoted by Decca records. The album Stranger in the City was released in February 1977.

 # 6 – Oh How The Years Go By

On of the last great John Miles Songs was released on his 1993 album entitled Upfront. It was John Miles first album since his 1985 album Transition. The song “Oh, How the Years Go By,” was written by Simon Climie & Will Jennings. It had also been covered separately by Amy Grant and Vanessa Williams in the early nineteen nineties.

# 5 – It’s Not Called Angel

John Miles Sympathy album released in 1980 was probably the singers moist underrated release. The album contained tow John Miles Songs that have made the list of the Top 10 John Miles Songs here at “It’s Not Called Angel,” appeared as the second track on the album. The album cover once again seemed to pay tribute to the late actor James Dean. When John Miles released his first album Rebel, it was often written that the title and the pose on the cover were in tribute to Jame Dean.  On the Sympathy album cover, John Miles posed with a cigarette in his mouth which also seemed to be an expression of the James Dean cool. However, regardless of the cover, the album contained some of the best music of John Miles career.

# 4 – Stranger in the City

John Miles’ Stranger in the City was the title track to his sophomore album Stranger in the City which was released in 1977. The albums great cover and title seemed to depict how difficult and intimidating it was for U.K. artists arriving in New York City for the first time.

# 3- Highfly

“HighFly,” was the song that started John Miles career. Produced by the great Alan Parsons, the song eventually led to the recording of John Miles first album Rebel. The song was not a big hit in the United States. However it hit No. 17 on the U.K Top 100. Charts.

# 2- Music

Most hardcore John Miles fans would pick “Music,” as John Miles greatest song and artistic moment. It would be hard to argue against that. Music is one of the most beautiful pop songs ever written and recorded. It appeared as the opening track on his debut album Rebel. It was also reprised at the end of the album.

# 1 – Where Would I Be Without You

The John Miles song “Where Would I Be Without You,” was the opening track to John Miles’ 1983 album Sympathy. The song is rarely picked as a fan favorite. It was never a big hit, and I don’t believe I have ever met anyone who has ever heard of the song. Yet, the song was the opening track on the album. Record companies always place what they view as the best song as the opening track. The label knew it had a great song. I am sure John Miles probably knew he had a great song. And here at ClassicRockHistory, it easily topped our list of great John Miles songs. If you have never heard the song, please click on it and take a listen. It was just pure pop perfection.


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